ELEGY WRITTEN WITHIN THE CEMETERY GATE

shroudedOh, how you have grown silent,
and your smile less bright. I sit here
listening for the sound of you tonight
but you do not answer. Shall I sit here longer?

Darkness has befallen you, your shadow
is misty mem’ry, you have left me
far too long ago. My mind knows
you have departed, but my heart is numb,

it has gone dumb and unbelieving.
I will be leaving you in peace someday,
the way it must so be. And yet,
I get the urge to repeat this dirge at each sight

of your name ingrained in granite and stone.
I am alone where I sit and I sense a hand,
gentility and frigidity are its markers. Starkness
of reality is what I must face. This place of night

persistent and eternal, this infernal field
where death rests. My chest tightens
and my heart seizes as it releases you,
a memory true and loyal, spoiled

by your sad circumstance. No macabre dance
can placate my soul. This evening has control
of all my senses. Within these iron fences, I sit
my own shadow in this endless night. My fright

is that we will head in different directions;
with me going not where my angel is allowed.
Covered by this shroud of my indiscretions,
errors and terrors inflicted upon my honor.

I am hidden in this forbidden place. My face
in remorseful charade shielded by the mask
I assume. I resume my lament, I curse your cancer.
You do not answer. Shall I sit here longer?

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2016

dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting the Bar: the Elegy

Also see:

DEAD ELEGY
ENGLYN ELEGY (Cyrch)
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28 thoughts on “ELEGY WRITTEN WITHIN THE CEMETERY GATE

  1. Pingback: DEAD ELEGY – THROUGH THE EYES OF A POET'S HEART

  2. Pingback: ENGLYN ELEGY (Cyrch) – THROUGH THE EYES OF A POET'S HEART

  3. This waiting, when you know the end has to be torment… love how you have expressed the pain, the destined parting, where you only wait for when… yes I can understand why this type of writing can be soothing now.

  4. The repeating of the line: “You do not answer. Shall I sit here longer?” is very affective as it kind of hangs out there…forever. The pain of separation is so clearly stated here, Walt, like you are in the middle of it.

  5. Glenn Buttkus

    Very heavy duty poetics, Walt, & it seems to rock the form. I had some trouble writing about loss yet ending up with acceptance; just me.

    1. These words steer me toward acceptance, Glenn. Unfortunately, there’s been too many people I’ve lost recently. It’s easier to write this pain when it surrounds you regularly. Thank you, sir!

  6. “You do not answer. Shall I sit here longer?” ~ oh dear! The depth of this poem swept my heart away. A piece filled with such heartfelt and raw emotions that left me with a sigh…

  7. A gorgeous write. I like the use of internal rhyme. You have described so well the depths of grief and loss. So many beautiful phrases so this is only one of them …”I am alone where I sit and I sense a hand, gentility and frigidity are its markers”. You have really captured the emptiness and longing….even the disbelief that never really seems to leave us.

  8. What strikes me most is the fear that “we will head in different directions;
    with me going not where my angel is allowed.”. It sounds like a terrible and untimely death. I so understand the “unbelieving”….and we never know how large the absence will be until we experience it. A powerful poem of grief and loss, Walt. Profoundly moving.

  9. I agree with Gayle: the repetition of the line: “You do not answer. Shall I sit here longer?” is effective – it lingers like the pain, which never goes away, but kind of softens over time. It will be five years since my father died – four days before my birthday, which I dread each year. But because my daughter has just got married, we have agreed to have a celebration whit August – there has been too much sadness.

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